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How to Make an Ombre Cake

Celebrate the first day of spring with a cake that has colors that change like the season. We partnered with Marcella DiLonardo of Modest Marce to create this stunning ombre cake.

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Happy first day of spring! After all the crazy weather we have had this season, I think a cake is in order to celebrate the arrival of warmer days. Don't you agree? After all the sun is shining past 4 pm, farmers markets are open, and beautiful flowers are blooming all over the place.

This will be the first spring I spend in my new house, so the first thing on my list is to get the garden ready. I can’t wait to plant fresh vegetables and about every herb I can possibly think of for cooking: basil, mint, parsley, oregano, rosemary, sage, and, of course, lavender.


I think lavender is one of the prettiest herbs available. In addition to its gorgeous purple hue, the scent is calming, soothing, and relaxing. Its familiar scent is often found in candles and soaps, but I decided it was time to explore baking with it as well.


After my success with lavender shortbread cookies, I decided to expand my lavender horizons and bake a cake.

This lavender cake offers a very subtle flavor of lavender, nothing overpowering or too floral, but certainly a unique taste. The inclusion of the lavender oil along with the dried lavender is completely optional, but I highly recommend you give it a try. Just remember a little oil goes a long way, so do not add more than the suggested drops.

Because I felt the cake needed to be as delicate and pretty as the lavender plant itself, I went with a soft purple ombre cake, inside and out. I promise this technique is a lot easier to execute than it looks.

Time to bake something new this spring! Enjoy.

Print Recipe
Ombre Lavender Cake
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Cook Time 20-25 minutes
Servings
8-10
Ingredients
For the lavender cake:
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter softened
  • 2 1/4 cups raw sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 drops lavender oil optional
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender ground
  • Red and blue food coloring
For the lavender buttercream:
  • 3 cups unsalted butter softened
  • 5-6 cups powdered sugar or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 drops lavender oil optional
  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender ground
  • Red and blue food coloring
Cook Time 20-25 minutes
Servings
8-10
Ingredients
For the lavender cake:
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter softened
  • 2 1/4 cups raw sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 drops lavender oil optional
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender ground
  • Red and blue food coloring
For the lavender buttercream:
  • 3 cups unsalted butter softened
  • 5-6 cups powdered sugar or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 drops lavender oil optional
  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender ground
  • Red and blue food coloring
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
For the lavender cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line three 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and raw sugar until fluffy using a stand or hand mixer.
  3. Add in the eggs one at a time followed by the canola oil, vanilla extract and lavender oil (if using).
  4. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and dried lavender.
  5. Alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the milk into the mixing bowl until a smooth batter is formed.
  6. Divide the batter between three bowls and add the food coloring. For the light purple add two drops each of red and blue, for the medium purple add five drops each of red and blue and for the dark purple add ten drops each of red and blue. Stir until evenly colored.
  7. Pour into the three cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top bounces bake to touch. Let cool while you prepare the frosting.
For the lavender buttercream:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the butter, sugar, vanilla, lavender oil (if using) and dried lavender. Beat until light and fluffy, about ten minutes.
  2. Use the white frosting to frost a crumb coat layer, beginning with the dark purple layer and ending with the light purple. Let firm in fridge while you prepare the colored frosting.
  3. Divide remaining frosting into three bowls. For the light purple add one drop each of red and blue, for the medium purple add three drops each of red and blue and for the dark purple add eight drops each of red and blue. Stir until evenly colored.
  4. Once the crumb coat is firm, spread a layer of the dark purple buttercream around the bottom, followed by the medium around the middle and the light purple around the top.
  5. Using a cake scraper or cake spatula, turn until smooth. A cake turntable will make this step much easier, but feel free to go for a rustic swirl look.
  6. Use left over buttercream to decorate as desired.

Comments

  1. Monica

    This is GORGEOUS!!

    March 22, 2017 | Reply
    • Crate and Barrel

      Thank you! Glad to hear you like it.

      March 22, 2017 | Reply

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